Monday, March 28, 2011
Inishmor, Aran Islands
A forty-five minute ferry ride from the mainland is a world of rock walls, crashing surf, thatch-roofed cottages, and tour guides talking blarney. Only 800 residents on this island, but there are lots of tourists arriving on every ferry. I can't imagine what it might be like in summer. We had one of the best spring days yet this year, and everyone we met was out soaking up sunshine. The pony carts are used to give tourists a ride on the single lane and very narrow roads, but most of us ride in vans. We were driven from one end of the island to the other, about 9 miles, with a 2 hour stop at Dun Aegan, the 2000 year old fort. We had lunch in one of the cafes. It's an unusual place, and it looks like the people, both historic and contemporary had little to do but build stack stone walls. Cattle, sheep and goats graze in the tiny spaces between. There's even an ocassional donkey and pony.
It was a visit to a different world. Today, we are off the the Burrens, which we are told look much like the landscape in the islands.